Reds' late show steals draw with Sydney FC in Leichhardt thriller
Two late goals in the space of three second-half minutes has seen Adelaide United snatch a 2-2 draw with Sydney FC at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.
The Sky Blues looked on course for three points and leap-frogging Adelaide on the ladder as a Bobo brace had them 2-0 up heading into the last 15 minutes.
But a rare goal from Reds defender Jordan Elsey and a bullet free-kick from Tomi Juric saw the visitors secure a hard-fought draw.
Sydney finished the match with 10-men as right-back Rhyan Grant saw red for bringing down Craig Goodwin and denying a goal-scoring opportunity.
The result keeps Adelaide in third spot on the ladder, just one point behind league-leaders Melbourne City.
It was a missed opportunity for the defending champions Sydney, who remain in fourth spot three points behind the Reds and their next opponents Central Coast Mariners.
Sky Blues pounce early
It’s no surprise that Milos Ninkovic was involved in the build-up, with his defence-splitting pass sending Alexander Baumjohann free down the right.
The German saw Bobo unmarked in the middle, squaring the ball across the face of goal for the Brazilian.
And Bobo made no mistake, placing the ball past the keeper to give Steve Corica’s side a dream start.
Another goal for Sydney’s Brazilian
The home side made a strong start to the second half and doubled their lead within six minutes of the resumption.
A sensational through-ball released Kosta Barbarouses, whose effort on goal was blocked.
But Bobo was on hand to convert the rebound to double his tally for the afternoon.
Mauk blazes just over
Adelaide needed some inspiration to turn things around and a combination of Ryan Strain and Stefan Mauk almost provided it just before the hour mark.
Strain sliced through the Sydney defence on the right, driving down the flank before cutting the ball back to Mauk at the top of the box.
The Reds skipper hit his strike powerfully but it was just to high to force Andrew Redmayne into a save.
Elsey starts Adelaide fightback
With time beginning to tick down the Reds were starting to throw everything at the hosts and it paid off 15 minutes from time – via an unlikely source.
The Reds worked the ball around well to get Craig Goodwin free down the left, with the winger fizzing a low cross into the heart of the Sky Blues box.
And central defender Elsey was there to divert the ball past Redmayne for his first goal of the campaign and Adelaide’s 600th goal in their A-League history.
Juric completes the comeback
The Reds won a free-kick in a dangerous area, which looked like a great position for Goodwin to strike.
But he decided to touch the ball for Juric, whose powerful low strike found the bottom corner of the net.
It was Juric’s third goal in as many games and his seventh of an injury-disrupted campaign.
Grant given early shower
There was still time for some late drama in the third minute of stoppage time.
The ever-dangerous Goodwin got in behind the Sky Blues defence and was tripped up by Grant, with referee Shaun Evans brandishing a red card as the Sydney defender was the last man.
Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Central Coast Stadium
Kick-off: 5.05pm (AEST)
Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Kick-off: 4.10pm (AEST)